Archive for the 'Rehab Hospital' Category

Dr. Gytt Gives Me Financial Advice

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008

After years of substandard physical therapy at the warehouse, I enrolled in an outpatient program at the downtown rehab hospital where I did time immediately after my stroke. I remembered them treating me like a retarded gerbil; but after spending years at the warehouse, I’d physically progressed to the extent that maybe they’d take me seriously (like they should have done from the get-go). I had to admit that the majority of therapists at the rehab hospital were intelligent, well-trained, and personable. Plus it was the only available game in town.

Twice a week, a cripplevan picked me up at the warehouse and lugged my ass to the rehab hospital. The charge nurse had reserved a ride for me every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon; for the most part, a different driver arrived each time. I looked forward not only to amassing long-term skills but also to the break in my daily routine. At the warehouse I dealt with a mostly disingenuous dirt-stupid staff. I’d be a lying cuss if I claimed that I didn’t welcome interaction with friendly and quick-witted young women. more »

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Rehab Staff Treats Me Like a Disobedient Child

Wednesday, September 19th, 2007

Roughly two weeks after my arrival at the rehab hospital, an orderly wheeled me to the wing where a surgeon would evaluate the drop foot on my right side.* Though my nurses chirped that such surgery would jumpstart my recovery, I found myself involuntarily wallowing in disorientation and nausea. I’d sat upright only days previously for the first time in more than a month, during which time I’d languished in a coma. When coupled with the fact that I wasn’t accustomed to sitting in a wheelchair, it became understandable that I couldn’t carry myself in what is generally accepted as a dignified manner. In the doctor’s wing, about halfway down the main hall, the orderly who pushed my chair suddenly stopped and scolded me: “Sit up straight and don’t look so sick. People be starin’ at me.” I can’t understand why she got her panties in a bunch; apparently she was oblivious to her whereabouts.

Eventually a faceless doctor—different from the one I’d met—performed the surgery. Afterward I had to wear a cast that extended from above my knee to the bottom of my toes. One week later, a different orderly wheeled me to the wing where I’d met with the surgeon; I had an appointment with a cast-removing-guy. more »

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Simple Minds Embrace Clichés

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007

After I’d been a patient at the rehab hospital for several weeks, the faceless administration assigned me to the brain trauma floor. My stroke technically qualified as brain trauma, but I’d managed to survive the debacle with my cognitive abilities unscathed. Other patient’s serious injuries had forced them to accept a diminished level of mental competence.

My first roommate appeared to be in his late teens. One afternoon his family—mom, dad, and little sister—showed up for a visit. He greeted them with befuddled grunts. After his father slowly and loudly recited the litany of events leading to his hospitalization, he warmed up and began to mumble at them. more »

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Sanctioned Imbeciles Botch My Appendectomy 7 — Boot Camp

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Read Part 6
. . . an orderly wheeled me to the rehab floor, where I spent the next couple of weeks in a private room. My newly-appointed caregivers structured my days basically the same as they’d been at the previous rehab hospital. A social worker I met the first day good-naturedly laughed: “This place is just like boot camp.”

Though I still felt exceedingly nauseated and debilitated, I noted a pang of giddiness—at least temporarily, I wouldn’t have to endure an unwashed batshit-crazy roommate. The rehab floor far outshone the warehouse by providing: a clean, intelligent, and hard-working staff (most of them anyway); slightly better than decent food (and lots of it); reasonable frequency of assisted showers (daily instead of biweekly)*; competently prescribed and executed physical therapy. (As always, I found the accompanying occupational therapy a waste of my time albeit a welcome respite, like study hall after calculus.) I’d forgotten that the fairly well-managed department of a health facility can be somewhat lively. more »

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Paratransit Follies — Part 3

Wednesday, April 4th, 2007

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Many warehouse residents were elderly and/or near death. The chintzy bastard administrator, Mr. Gold couldn’t justify paying a trained therapist to work with a resident, only to watch that resident waste any newly learned physical strategies by dying. The warehouse bosses promoted easily manipulated CNA’s who excelled at making beds and emptying bedpans to revered positions as physical therapists, much like teacher’s pets are chosen to clap erasers. Stupendously lazy young residents didn’t care about the administration’s tacit ban on competent therapists; they rationalized that their own lack of ambition demonstrated a mature acceptance of their bodily deficits. Or maybe they realized physical independence meant an end to their mooching. more »

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In God They Trust

Wednesday, February 14th, 2007

Immediately after I entered the hospital, my doctors spewed their quarter-assed diagnosis at my parents who passed it along to my grandmother. She (like most people) regarded the conclusions drawn by white male doctors beyond reproach. News of their—and in fact everyone’s—irresponsible speculation prompted her to write a letter to me, her ill-bred wicked grandson. In it she expressed her hope that enduring this stroke fiasco would somehow “save” me. The correspondence caught me off guard because though she counted herself as a devout Catholic, she had never impressed me as a woman inclined to use what amounted to a popular catchphrase.

* * *
After I’d emerged from the coma, I remember lying on some sort of stationary gurney in the ICU of an urban hospital. more »

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I’m Uncoop’rative

Wednesday, January 17th, 2007

Over-educated liberals who trip over themselves to exhibit political correctness while disregarding reality routinely challenge victim blaming. Ironically, alleged victims are often anxious to find fault with those weaker than themselves, particularly the elderly or infirm—kind of like a linebacker beating up a six-year-old.

Many shitworkers at major urban medical facilities take disproportionate pride in their menial positions. These nano-wits delude themselves that a job requiring a white uniform and the use of bona fide medical gadgets must also demand extraordinary skill, and magically transform them into a “medical professional” worthy of awe and respect. Legions of these simple oafs infested the rehab hospital. more »

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A Sin Against God

Wednesday, December 13th, 2006

Anger and indignation overwhelmed me when sycophantic nurses at the rehab hospital forbade me access to my file. Yet CNA’s not associated with me freely scrutinized the documents describing my case. They believed that my cognitive abilities were fried and openly gossiped about their findings in my presence.

CNA’s often went out of their way to snoop into a patient’s file. One afternoon two obese soap-dodging pork-monsters who reeked of cheap perfume waddled unannounced into my room. I’d never seen them before. One of them snatched the manila folder from my nightstand where a preoccupied doctor had left it, opened it and riffled through its contents. She moved her lips as she scanned each document for juicy information. One document captured her attention. Her eyes bulged while she turned to her colleague and like a grade-schooler noticing a classmate’s mischief intoned: “Awwwww, it say here he tried to kill hisself. That’s a sin against God.” She nodded her head to demonstrate her simple-minded pious authority. more »

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Welcome — Part 2

Wednesday, December 6th, 2006

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Because most licensed doctors recognize a dead patient as a potential lawsuit, they initially performed a tracheotomy on me. I remember during my time in the ICU when I wore a string like a choker around my neck. (I’m sure there was more to it, but at the time it seemed just a string.) An either overzealous or incompetent nurse had tied the string too tightly and it mercilessly dug into the nape of my neck—I host the permanent furrows that prove I’m not whining like a drama queen. I literally couldn’t make a sound, much less complain. more »

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Welcome — Part 1

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

I have no problem differentiating between hallucinations and factual events that occurred in my post-trauma surroundings. Though I had a flimsy grasp on reality immediately after I surfaced from the coma, the fleeting moments of lucidity proved themselves wildly enhanced. And my intuition had kicked itself into ultra-high gear.

A silent ambulance obeyed speed limits while it carried me from the intensive care unit of a standard hospital to a rehabilitation hospital where the thickheaded staff would try to subjugate me for the next three months. My faceless doctors had assigned me to a high-ceilinged three-bed ward. (During the course of my stay they would twice order me transferred to another room.) more »

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